M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
This is a well-written devotional book meant for use every day for 366 days of a year. Written in a very lucid and simple language, devotional for a day runs to simply only one page with anointed words of wisdom, interpretation and exhortation. For many years, Dr. Tay was the Dean and Vicar of the famous St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore, a community of believers who have historically supported missions around the world. Earlier to his ministry as the Dean and Vicar, Dr. Tay was the Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics for about 22 years at the National University of Singapore. His experience both as a minister and a practitioner of medicine gets easily reflected in the very communicative and loving language of the devotionals presented here.
Each day’s devotional has an appropriate title, which in itself is very comforting, warning, and leading us to receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The title is followed by an apt verse from the Bible as the centerpiece. However, the content of the devotional takes us also to various related verses even as the lead verse is explained by way of interpretation and exhortation. At the end of the page we are given a direction simply based on the Word of God. All this in one page, with adequate white space between sentences! Easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to submit oneself to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Here below are given a few days’ devotionals for you to read as a sample:
Jesus: The Light of the World
“I am the Light of the world…” John 8:12
Jesus makes this declaration (John 8:12) and enters into a prolonged discourse with His hearers. In the next chapter, he makes this declaration with the healing of a man blind from his birth.
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (J ohn 9: 5). As he said this, he spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, and anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay, and said;
“Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” (John 9:7). The man did so, and he received his sight. The meaning of the saying “I am the Light of the world” goes beyond mere physical healing of blind eyes. Jesus came to reveal God the Father, and spoke what He had heard from the Father:
“He who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” (John 8:26).
Jesus spoke words that brought revelation, truth, freedom and life to His hearers: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32). “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). The Jews thought that Jesus meant freedom from slavery, but Jesus pointed out that He meant freedom from the slavery to sin (John 8:33-35).
Have you been set free by our Lord Jesus from the slavery to sinful habits?
The Day of the Lord
“For behold, the day comes…” Malachi 4:1-5
Two thousand years have passed since Christ came to earth. A thousand years is like a day in the eyes of the Lord (2 Peter 3:8). Two thousand years is like two days in God’s eyes.
“Come let us return to the Lord.. .After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:1,2; NIV).
Let us return to the Lord our God, and be ready for a major move of God in the third millennium. Be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus!
Malachi chapter 4 speaks about the Day of the Lord:
- “For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” (verse 1).
- “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in his wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.” (verse 2).
- “And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.” (verse 3).
Let us walk in the fear of the Lord, for He is doing a new work in these end times among the nations, and in Singapore. Worship Jesus.
“For I hate divorce, says the Lord…” Malachi 2:16
“l When the temple was rebuilt and the walls of Jerusalem V V completed (under Ezra and Nehemiah), there was considerable spiritual enthusiasm among the people. But as time passed, the prophecies about the destruction of God’s enemies and the coming of the Messiah were not immediately fulfilled.
The people became discouraged and complacent about obeying all of God’s laws. Complacency led to blatant sin, such as marrying idol worshippers. There were serious consequences, such as defiling the sanctuary and exclusion from the people of God (2:11,12).
The word “abomination” means something that God hates intensely. Believers who marry idol worshippers commit abomination in the eyes of God. If they then enter the sanctuary to worship God, they will profane or defile the sanctuary (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
The failure to be faithful to God was accompanied by the lack of faithfulness in the marriage relationship. Divorce became common and was practised only by men. They broke faith with their wives and ignored the husband-and-wife bonding that God creates in marriage, as well as His purpose for them to raise “godly offspring” (2:15). Divorce also had serious consequences: God rejected their worship (2:13,14). If God convicts your heart on these matters, repent and come to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing.
The Christian’s Calling
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-2 (NIV)
Let us reflect on our calling in our Lord Jesus Christ. Study these verses:
“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1:8-9; NIV).
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1:26,27; NIV).
Are you struggling with your identity (Who am I)? Paul found his identity, purpose in life in his calling (as apostle) in Christ Jesus.
Give your heart afresh to God, and ask God to fulfill His purpose and destiny for your life. Do you feel that you are very ordinary? Then praise God! For God chooses the very ordinary people to shame the wise and the strong. Be ready to be used by God in this and other ways, now and in the days ahead!
The Christian Message
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV)
Paul was a brilliant man and an outstanding scholar. He could have overwhelmed his listeners with intellectual arguments.
Instead he shared the simple message of Jesus Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his words: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (l Corinthians 2:4-5; NIV).
We do not win others by arguments. Faith in Christ must not be built on human wisdom, such as the cleverness of our arguments. The essence of the Christian message is Jesus Christ and his crucifixion (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Jesus was misunderstood, rejected and put to death by the rulers in Palestine (the high priest, Pilate, the Pharisees and Sadducees). By the death of Jesus on the Cross, Satan was defeated, and the powers and authorities disarmed (Colossians 2:13-15). If the rulers of this age knew this, they would not have crucified Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:8).
The message of Christ, though simple, is also profound for believers. We cannot imagine all that God has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity (1 Corinthians 2:9). Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life. Be strong, therefore, in the Lord.
Worship That is Pleasing to God
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? Says the Lord of hosts…” Malachi 1:6
Every Sunday many people go to church and offer Him sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Let us pause to consider: Is God pleased with our worship? Are our sacrifices acceptable to Him?
The prophet Malachi rebuked Israel for their worship that was displeasing to God. The people offered blind, lame and sick animals as sacrifices to God (Malachi 1:8). God was so disgusted with their worship that He said, “Oh, that there were one among you who would shut the doors… ” (Malachi 1:10).
Are we giving God our best, in our time, talents and resources?
Or are we offering Him the equivalents of the blind, lame and sick animals in our worship?
“For I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and my name is feared among the nations.” (Malachi 1:14). “If you do not listen and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.” (Malachi 2:2; NIV). God deserves all our honour, praise and worship. There is already a curse if we do not set our hearts to honour His name.
Let us set our hearts to honour Him, for God honours those who honour Him (1 Samuel 2:30).
Claim What God Has Promised
“Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of us.” Joshua 2:24
God has promised us abundant and eternal riches through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to claim these promises for ourselves. The book of Joshua teaches us how to do this. God told Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses.” (Joshua 1:3). God had promised the land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When the time came, Joshua and the people of Israel had to set foot on the land to claim it as their inheritance.
There are often many obstacles in our way as we seek to fulfill God’s will for our lives. In the Promised Land, there were giants and great cities. But Joshua and Caleb believed that God was able to give them the victory. Caleb, especially, wholly followed the Lord, even to the age of 85! We must follow Jesus whole-heartedly.
In Joshua 2, two spies were sent in to Jericho. They discovered that the inhabitants of the land were trembling in fear because of what God had done for the Israelites (Joshua 2:9-14).
As we claim in faith God’s promises for us in Christ, the enemies tremble in fear. We must be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6,7,9). God fights for us and gives us the victory (Deuteronomy 33:27).
The Road to Blessing
“When you see the ark of the covenant…then you shall set out from your place and follow it.” Joshua 3:3
Joshua chapter three records the crossing of the Jordan by the Israelites. They were told to follow the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized the Presence of God.
As we go through life’s journey, we must keep our eyes on our Lord Jesus and follow Him. The crossing of the Jordan marks the end of the self-centred life and the beginning of the Christ-centred life.
Are you ready to move on with Christ to a higher level in your walk with Him?
God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham some 400 years previously. Joshua and the people were now poised to enter the land. The inhabitants were guilty of gross immorality and of trafficking with evil spirits. Their conflict was with spiritual evil (Ephesians 6:11). As believers, we must all be equipped for Spiritual Warfare. God has a plan for your life. Fight against the forces of darkness, so that God’s plan can be fulfilled.
In spiritual warfare, we are not fighting for victory but from a position of victory in Christ. We must keep our eyes on our Lord Jesus, just as the Israelites had to keep their eyes on the Ark of the Covenant. We must sanctify ourselves and walk in repentance, so that God will multiply His wonders among us (Joshua 3:5).
Many will be blessed by Dr. Tay’s anointed work.
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
6820 Auto Club Road
Bloomington, MN 55438